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[SXSW ’22] ‘Pirates’ review: A love letter to friendship and possibilities

Party like it’s 1999, bruv.

SXSW is known for shedding light on new and independent voices, whether it’s in the music scene or in cinema. Making its International premiere at this year’s festival is the fast talking comedy Pirates, a film about music, friends, and coming of age at the turn of the millennium. Written and directed by Reggie Yates, Pirates is a sharp feel good comedy about looking to the future while living in the moment. 

It’s New Year’s Eve 1999 and while part of the world is worrying about the world’s end, others are preparing for the party of the century. Best friends since childbirth, Cappo (Eliot Edusah), Two Tone (Jordan Peters), and Kidda (Reda Elazouar) are snappy dressers with a talent for music and pulling off remarkable schemes. In this coming of age film, these eighteen year olds look to the future as their destinies begin to pull them in different directions. Cappo, manages Two Tone and Kidda, musicians who are starting to make a name for themselves. However, Cappo wants a different life and has academic pursuits he wants to follow. Cappo wrestles between revealing the truth or making this the best New Year’s of their lives. 

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Pirates is set during one whole day as the film counts down to midnight. The story is fast paced as it follows the friends who must procure tickets to the biggest party in London, eat, and find the perfect outfits. Yates’ dialogue is fast and gripping. The audience will feel they are part of the friends and their plans. The movie is set during 1999 so there are some music choices, and nods to the time such as tracksuits and Tamagotchis, but the movie is never bogged down by these details. Rather, the most important element that surfaces is the bond of friendship and the excitement of what the night might bring. Pirates is full of good vibes and does an excellent job in creating the nostalgic feeling of youth. 

Edusa, Peters, and Elazour share a strong chemistry and make a great comedic team. While the pacing may switch up during the exploration of the conflict of the film, the light heartedness prevails. Ring in SXSW with Pirates

Pirates makes its International Premiere at SXSW on March 11

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